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Geocaching/New Cacher Looking For Tips


Thank you for your time, Nathan.  I couple quickies for you:

1) Is it ever acceptable to keep a geocoin as a collectible?  I READ that they are great to collect, but all indications are that if one found it must be moved on within a couple weeks max.  IUf you don't keep them, how can they be "collectibles"?

2) I want a portable unit that can be used for hiking, etc. & been hearing good things about the Magellan Explorist 210, any negative feedback on those that you've heard?

3) I'd like to start my own geocache, and I understand it's good to have a "First To Find" prize to start the ball rolling but, how much DO I pack in it to start?  It seems that most I've seen have several items inside but there MUST be a one-to-one trade-off so, it needs to start with multiple items in case several people arrive yes?

Thank you for taking some of the "newb" out of my experience!


Sean C.

Hey Sean!

1) It depends on the situation.  Generally speaking the answer is no.  Most coins found in geocaches are there as "travel bugs".  The owner of these coins wants to see them travel the world and doesn't want them to end up in a private collection.  

The collectible portion is for cachers who purchase extra coins and then trade them at events.  For example, you might purchase 5 extra Texas geocoins and then trade your extras for other coins you like.

One exception to the above rule is the occasional FTF prize.  Sometimes a player will leave a coin in a cache as a FTF prize (usually the coin is unactivated and doesn't have an owner assigned).  In this situation it is up to you how to handle the coin.  You can keep it for your collection or you can activate it and turn it into a "travel bug".

2) I have seen several of these in the field, in use by experienced cachers.  As far as I know there isn't anything negative about them (except, perhaps, the display isn't in color).  They have topo and street map download capability, so that is good...and generally speaking, you cannot go wrong with Garmin or Magellan.  Web prices range about $150 for those units, so if you find one around that range or less you are probably in for a good deal.

3) You can put as much or as little as you want into your cache (depending on the size, of course).  Small tupperware caches might only hold 3-5 items, but an ammo box can usually hold 5-10+.  I usually collect trinkets at garage sales, or purchase sale items at the $1 store, in order to stock my new caches.  

As for a FTF prize, this is usually something a little extra special that is for the first finder to take (no trade required).  I've seen little trophies, ribbons, certificates/awards, etc.  Sometimes it is a $1 or $2 bill.  On VERY difficult hides I've seen people drop in a $5 or higher to encourage finders.

Welcome to the game and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do [:D].


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Nathan (Lotus)


I can answer questions about Geocaching rules, customs, and guidelines. I can also provide advice about what types of features you should look for when buying a GPSr for Geocaching. I also provide assistance in solving puzzle-related Geocaches (or at least my best attempt - no guarantees).


I have been an active Geocacher for over 4 years and have over 2000 finds and 100 hides.

I use a Garmin GPSMAP 76CS.

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